During tonight’s Democratic presidential debate, viewers might see an anti-immigrant ad targeting “anchor babies”—more precisely and less offensively known as U.S. citizen children. The ad was created by Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a racist anti-immigrant group masquerading as an environmental group concerned about population growth.
The group’s background is troubling, to say the least. CAPS has accepted funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has worked to promote eugenics and prove the genetic superiority of white people. CAPS also shares leadership with—and has taken funding from—a national anti-immigrant network with roots in white nationalism.
CAPS’ ad promotes the racist message that children of immigrants pose a threat to the U.S. But their racism isn’t the only thing wrong—they are wrong on the facts as well. So-called anchor babies are simply U.S. citizens, according to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And immigrants certainly don’t pose a threat to U.S. taxpayers—research clearly shows that immigration drives U.S. economic growth.
If we want to build a welcoming and diverse nation that reflects our best values, we must reject racism and bigotry in our politics and in our lives.